Duplicate fonts in Snow Leopard?

Question

Have you upgraded to Snow Leopard? I only upgraded a couple of days ago, but have run into a slightly irritating font issue. If you have, then maybe you can answer me this: Ever since I upgraded I now have a bunch of “duplicate” fonts showing in Font Book along with a few that are in the Font Directory but not showing up in Font Book. I also have two fonts whose file names are clearly labeled but, even though they are two different fonts, they show up in Font Book on the list as New and both have the sub-name of Regular even though they are two totally different fonts. Have you had this issue?

Answers

Let’s take these questions one at a time.

Have you upgraded to Snow Leopard?…

Yes. I have Snow Leopard. I was one of the idiot Apple geeks standing in line before dawn at the Apple Store for Snow Leopard when they launched it. I have the free Apple T-shirt to prove it too!

…Ever since I upgraded I now have a bunch of “duplicate” fonts showing in Font Book along with a few that are in the Font Directory but not showing up in Font Book…

Okay. First of all, you need to understand all the places you can have fonts on your system. There are lots of them. If you did the default installation, you probably installed more than you wanted. You might consider reinstalling and telling Snow Leopard to not install extra fonts or the extra languages. That will clean everything up quite a bit and you’ll save a lot of extra space and time with the installation.

There are fonts areas dedicated to users, the system, and applications.

Fonts live in these places:

  • Home/Library/Fonts (these are fonts just for the current user. This is where I keep all of my fonts)
  • Home/Libary/Disabled Fonts (these are the fonts you have turned off)
  • User/Library/Fonts (if you have multiple users set up)
  • Library/Fonts (these are system wide fonts regardless of user)
  • System/Library/Fonts (These are fonts required by the system. Do not touch this folder)

Additionally, some programs have special places for fonts:

  • Adobe products: Home/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Fonts
  • Microsoft: Home/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/User Templates/My Themes/Theme Fonts
  • Adobe InDesign: Applications/Adobe InDesign/Fonts

So, I imagine what is happening is you had fonts already installed before your upgrade and then installed MORE of the same font in different areas when you upgraded to Snow Leopard.

…I also have two fonts whose file names are clearly labeled but, even though they are two different fonts, they show up in Font Book on the list as New and both have the sub-name of Regular even though they are two totally different fonts…

Fonts can look the same, but come from different foundries and have different ID numbers that would cause them to read as different fonts.

Either reinstall or manually check those folders for duplicates and remove the extras.

A funny and terrifying font situation

Remember when I said “Do not touch this folder” in regards to the fonts in the System earlier? Well, I wasn’t always so bright. I was new to OS X and wanted all zillion of my fonts completely organized. I decided to discover where they were all located and move them all to a single folder. It seemed like a good thing to do. When I got to the system folder and tried to delete the fonts I had to put in a couple of passwords and go through a lot of warnings. I was determined and I succeeded. Unfortunately, what I didn’t understand until it was too late was I had just eliminated all the fonts my system required. Imagine a computer screen with no words on it… AT ALL. No familiar “File Edit Delete” at the top. No descriptions under folders and file names. No web pages with words. Nothing. Nada.

It was a great learning experience I don’t recommend.

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Lena Shore

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